Our Dystopian Now

Most of us often fear what we can’t see, understand or contextualize. The unknown is the biggest devil of them all. Throughout history we have had to contend with this — solar eclipses, epileptic fits and falling asteroids — they all became part of the fictional fear factor, that has plagued humanity. And perhaps that explains why it became fashionable to pontificate about our dystopian future. Rapid and whiplash-inducing changes in technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and bio-engineering have got dystopia on our minds. Continue reading “Our Dystopian Now”

Robot OS & the open source

SD Times interviews Brian Gerkey, CEO of the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) that emerged from Willow Garage in 2012 about the future of robotics and why open source philosophy is the right step forward. He also shares his vision of the future. Add it to your “read it today” list. [SDTimes]

Why DARPA Robotics challenge was a bust.

The recently concluded DARPA Robotics challenge has turned out to be quite a topic of debate. Popular Science in no uncertain terms states that it was underwhelmed and that the challenge was a failure. It is worth a read. [PopSci]

The (New) Robot Reality

Last week Amazon revealed how it is using robots. Did the company divulge a secret lab where humanoid machines made out of steel are slowly plotting to take over the planet? Hardly. The 320-pound, orange automatons from Kiva Systems (which Amazon acquired in 2012) move high, heavy shelves full of products closer to human employees, speeding up the time it takes to dispatch goods to customers. Continue reading “The (New) Robot Reality”